A new book, Methodological Reflections on Researching Communication and Social Change, edited by Örecomm colleagues Norbert Wildermuth and Teke Ngomba features new chapters by ComDev researchers, alumni of the program and many collaborators from Malmö and Roskilde University! The book expands the growing Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change series.

Official synopsis:
This book identifies the strengths and weaknesses of different methodological approaches to research in communication and social change. It examines the methodological opportunities and challenges occasioned by rapid technological affordances and society-wide transformations. This study provides grounded insights on these issues from a broad range of proficient academics and experienced practitioners.
Overall, the different contributions address four key themes: a critical evaluation of different ethnographic approaches in researching communication for/and social change; a critical appraisal of visual methodologies and theatre for development research; a methodological appraisal of different participatory approaches to researching social change; and a critical examination of underlying assumptions of knowledge production within the dominant strands of methodological approaches to researching social change. 

For ComDev researcher Anders Hög-Hansen the book has important significance as it remembers the work of his Malmö University colleague, the late Lajos Varhegyi:

It all began in December 2009, Lajos came along documenting a seminar in Dar Es Salaam and that led to a film collaboration between University of Dar Es Salaam (Fine & Performing Arts) students, Malmö University film students as well as ComDev students. After many years, adding Sören Sönderstrup excellent thesis work to it, a book chapter on young Tanzanian and Swedish filmmakers’ short films on life in the outskirts of Dar Es Salaam is now published. Lajos is not with us anymore, the article is dedicated to him, the pioneer of the film project.

The book also includes chapters by ComDev researcher Oscar Hemer and former ComDev teachers Julia Velkova and Zeenath Hasan as well as MA program alumna Karen Marie Thulstrup.

journalmediapracticeCity Symphony Malmö: the spatial politics of non-institutional memory

New article coauthored by ComDev’s Anders Høg Hansen and Erling Björgvinsson (Interaction Design, formerly Malmö University, now at Gothenburg) published in the Journal Media Practice, explores the function of media in the creation of non-institutional memory and discusses the complexities of participatory and spatially distributed filmmaking and the convergence of culture and mediated memory production in Erling Björgvinsson and Richard Topgaard’s 2009 documentary City Symphony Malmö.
The City symphony genre captures snatches of real-time footage, allowing filmmakers to make a statement on modern society in which time, space and movement are fundamental elements.

The article discusses where the relation between place and memory and the constitution of individual and collective identities converges to manifest in the production and mediation of living memory, revealing an interplay and a tension between seemingly private and public content and the role of networked media in the creation of plural aspects of collective remembrance.

PeaceAndChangeBannerLogoFrom Social Movement to Ritualized Conference Spaces: The Evolution of Peace Research Professionalism in Germany is the title of ComDev’s Tobias Denskus‘ latest research article just published in the journal Peace & Change:

The article employs anthropological ritual theory and the concepts of symbolism and liminality to provide a theoretical framework for analyzing ethnographic insights into the academic peace research community in Germany. Using secondary sources for a broader historical outline, I analyze the evolution of peace research discourses in Germany from the beginnings as a new social movement to a contemporary professionalized policy space in which knowledge discourses are (re)produced. Academic conferences and the routines around presenting theoretical papers have become institutionalized by the ritual dynamics of a small group of organizers and venues, fostering “indoor rituals” that represent transformations of the activities of the “outdoor” peace movement that was active in postwar Germany for many decades.

In a blog post with further links, including to an un-gated version of his paper, he adds:TobiasDenskusMAH2014

I think it is important to engage with community practices and changing forms of professionalism over time. This allows for important nuances beyond twitter-able claims to add simply more women or enhance diversity at conferences in other ways. These are important steps, but in this day and age of the ‘metricized’ neoliberal university we need to ask tougher questions about how to build and maintain social movements and inspiring communities inside and outside academia.

Open Comdev web seminar: Community Radio for Change

by Mikael May 20, 2016 Uncategorized

Your browser does not support iframes. Live Tuesday, 24 May, 13:00 Swedish Time (11 AM UTC) and in Live Lecture for Comdev students With Anders Høg Hansen and Birgitte Jallov In what ways can community radio spark social change? This web seminar will cover the aspects of community radio, discuss why information matters and how the voices […]

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New MEDEA VOX podcast on Extremist Communication

by Tobias Denskus March 3, 2016 Uncategorized

Our media and communication colleagues just launched as new podcast program as part of their Medea platform. The first episode of Medea Vox discusses how political extremists use the internet and social media to promote their cause: Today we’re going to approach the topic of online communication from a different angle, thinking through the propaganda […]

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The Seeds Have Bloomed: The 4th ‘Women 100’ movement newsletter is out!

by Tobias Denskus February 1, 2016 Uncategorized

Since 2013 the movement Women 100 (Hundred Years of Immigrant Women’s Life and Work in Malmö) has tried to make visible and recognize immigrant women’s life and work in Malmö. The fourth newsletter (No 2 2015) is out now! A collection that in hardcopy size resembles a small book (a pdf version is available). The […]

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Welcome to the ComDev spring semester 2016!

by Tobias Denskus December 17, 2015 Uncategorized

Dear ComDev students! Thank you for choosing to study Communication for Development at Malmö University-and welcome (back) to our course! We just updated the Course Start Guide Spring 2016 and you will find important information regarding registration for the programme and key dates for your course introductions. The course start guide provides with the most […]

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Analysing Media Ethnography: Nordic-Kenyan PhD seminar, 15-18 March 2016

by Tobias Denskus December 12, 2015 Uncategorized

Call for Participants Analysing Media Ethnography– Exploring Ethnographic Inquiry and Analysis in Media and Communication Research Nordic-Kenyan PhD seminar, 15 – 18 March 2016 Course Description The PhD seminar is designed to give a hands-on approach to the analysis of ethnographic field material within media and communication studies. The course will provide an opportunity for […]

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Current affairs talk on Israel-Palestine with ComDev alumna Rebecca Bengtsson

by Tobias Denskus October 23, 2015 Uncategorized

The ComDev team took the opportunity to catch up with alumna and former staff member Rebecca Bengtsson, Communications Officer with the Temporary International Presence in Hebron. Tobias Denskus and about 20 students discussed the current situation in Israel and Palestine, including the challenges of C4D work in the context of an international observer mission, the […]

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Seminar on political expression, social media & citizen engagement with Marko Skoric (CityU HK), Thursday 8 October

by Tobias Denskus October 8, 2015 Uncategorized

Marko Skoric from City University Hong Kong will be joining ‪#‎comdev_live‬ on Thursday, 8 October. He will present his research on Political expression, exposure to disagreement, and opinion shielding on social media as predictors of citizen engagement We will be meeting from 2.30-4.00 (SWE time) in the Glocal Classroom teaching room (NC0502) and the seminar […]

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